Tuesday, June 29

El Desdichado

... Et j'ai deux fois vainqueur traversé l'Achéron:
Modulant tour à tour sur la lyre d'Orphée
Les soupirs de la sainte et les cris de là fée.

And twice I prevailed over the crossing of Achéron:
Alternating in turn on the lyre of Orpheus
The sighs of the saint and the cries of the fairy.

-- Gérard de Nerval


Love is the perpetual knot and link of the universe.

-- Marsilio Ficino The Hymns of Orpheus

Saturday, June 26

Holy books will disappear, and then only the mystic formula will remain.
When the mystic formula departed, naught but mind was left.
When the mind disappeared naught was left anywhere,
And a voice became merged within the Void.

-- Lal Ded

Friday, June 25

air and angels

Twice or thrice had I loved thee,
Before I knew thy face or name ;
So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame
Angels affect us oft, and worshipp'd be.
Still when, to where thou wert, I came,
Some lovely glorious nothing did I see.
But since my soul, whose child love is,
Takes limbs of flesh, and else could nothing do,
More subtle than the parent is
Love must not be, but take a body too ;
And therefore what thou wert, and who,
I bid Love ask, and now
That it assume thy body, I allow,
And fix itself in thy lip, eye, and brow.

-- John Donne

Thursday, June 24

Ma femme aux yeux d'eau pour boire en prison
Ma femme aux yeux de bois toujours sous la hache
Aux yeux de niveau d'eau de niveau d'air de terre et de feu.

Beauty will be CONVULSIVE or will not be at all.
-- André Breton

One might have thought of sight, but who could think
Of what it sees, for all the ill it sees?
Speech found the ear, for all the evil sound,
But the dark italics it could not propound.
And out of what sees and hears and out
Of what one feels, who could have thought to make
So many selves, so many sensuous worlds,
As if the air, the mid-day air, was swarming
With the metaphysical changes that occur,
Merely in living as and where we live.

-- Wallace Stevens Esthétique du Mal

via Alex Ross

Wednesday, June 23

on the road

Hold on, hold on, my brother.
My sister, hold on tight.
I finally got my orders.
I’ll be marching through the morning,
Marching through the night,
Moving cross the borders
Of My Secret Life.

-- Leonard Cohen In My Secret Life

Tuesday, June 22


Many who liked my earlier works dislike my current ones. They simply have not understood the earlier ones properly.

-- Arnold Schoenberg

via Alex Ross

Sunday, June 20

summer solstice

More strange than true: I never may believe
These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet's eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposed a bear!

-- Shakespeare A Midsummer Night's Dream

It is said that whatever is dreamed this night will come to pass

Saturday, June 19


I don't care
Where the legs of the legs of the furniture are walking to
Or what is hidden in the shadows they stride
Or what would look at me
If the shutters were not shut

Red a warm colour on the battlefield
Heavy on my knees as a counterpane
Count counter
I counted the fringe of the towel
Till two tassels clinging together
Let the square room fall away

-- Mina Loy Love Songs 17


And I love my own nails too, that shine at the tips
of these musical hands of a poet :
tiny, tough, diaphanous flames
flickering in an eccentric Candlemas,
fingers always alight for the Feast.
When I write
You form a lamp, my finger-nails,
and shine most brightly at the dark tip of my pen!

-- Paolo Buzzi

Friday, June 18

le monde

Le vrai sens de la fête : pénétration d'un niveau de Réalité par un autre niveau de Réalité. Le monde est rempli de miracles. Ce sont eux qui constituent la dimension poétique de l'existence.

The true feeling of the celebration: penetration of a level of Reality by another level of Reality. The world is filled with miracles. They make up the poetic dimension of existence.

-- Basarab Nicolescu Theoremes Poetiques

Thursday, June 17


"I'm afraid," he said at last, "that the Question and the Answer are mutually exclusive. Knowledge of one logically precludes knowledge of the other. It is impossible that both can ever be known about the same Universe."

-- Douglas Adams Life, the Universe and Everything

Monday, June 14


Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, only once in this way and never again.

-- Hermann Hesse

Sunday, June 13


And one that shall know this vision -- with what passion of love shall he not be seized, with what pang of desire, what longing to be molten into one with This, what wondering delight! If he that has never seen this Being must hunger for it as for all his welfare, he that has known must love and reverence It as the very Beauty; he will be flooded with awe and gladness, stricken by a salutary terror; he loves with a veritable love, with sharp desire...

-- Plotinus

Saturday, June 12


Polyphonie de voix entrecoupées par celles du quotidien : fouillis de préoccupations matérielles et fulgurance de pensées éphémères. Incessant bouillonnement de la pensée. Chacun suit sa trajectoire de petite planète solitaire. Peut-être voyage-t-on entre différents niveaux de conscience.

Polyphony of voices interrupted by those of everyday life: a jumble of material concerns, a flashing of ephemeral thoughts. Incessant effervescence of thought. Everyone follows the trajectory of a little solitary planet. We are traveling between different levels of consciousness, perhaps.

-- Claire Bartoli

Friday, June 11


The center of the vortex is not neutral. The center of the vortex is the presence of the "I AM" in the matrix of possibilities.

-- Anthony Damiani

Thursday, June 10

the earth's sharp edge

She felt a strange intensity being born within her. As she looked about the quiet garden she had the impression that for the first time since her childhood she was seeing objects clearly. Life was suddenly there, she was in it, not looking through the window at it. The dignity that came from feeling a part of its power and grandeur, that was a familiar sensation, but it was years ago that she had last known it.

-- Paul Bowles The Sheltering Sky

Tuesday, June 8

Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

-- Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland

Miracle Fair

Cud pospolity:
to, ze dzieje sie wiele cudow pospolitych.

The commonplace miracle:
that so many common miracles take place.

Cud jeden z wielu:
chmurka zwiewna i mala,
a potrafi zaslonic duzy ciezki ksiezyc.

One of many miracles:
a small and airy cloud
is able to upstage the massive moon.

Cud pierwszy lepszy:
krowy sa krowami

A miracle in the first place:
cows will be cows.

Cud bez czarnego fraka i cylindra:
rozfruwajace sie biale golebie.

A miracle minus top hat and tails:
fluttering white doves.

Cud, tylko sie rozejrzec:
wszechobecny swiat.

A miracle, just take a look around:
the inescapable earth.

Cud dodatkowy, jak dodatkowe jest wszystko:
co nie do pomyslenia
jest do pomyslenia.

An extra miracle, extra and ordinary:

the unthinkable
can be thought

-- Wislawa Szymborska

Monday, June 7

walking at night

I open the top
of my door & stand
in the dark
blue rush of air.
Hold my breath
to know what breathing is.
Air will move through me
as it moves through the trees.
I push open the bottom.
The path has not yet
been mined in the melt.
There is time.
In the hemlocks I can still
hear the silence owls
made, though the stream
clashes about. I am
walking. Snow reflects
blank sky. I feel my eyes wide
as shoulders. Now I am young.

-- Brian Swann

Saturday, June 5

the moment

We passed the ice of pain
And came to a dark ravine,
And there we sang with the sea:
The wide, the bleak abyss
Shifted with our slow kiss.
Space struggled with time;
The gong of midnight struck
The naked absolute.
Sound, silence sang as one.
All flowed: without, within;
Body met body, we
Created what's to be.
What else to say?
We end in joy.

-- Theodore Roethke

Friday, June 4

You're the song that the trees sing when the wind blows
You're a flower, you're a river, you're a rainbow
-- Randy Newman "Marie"

neither here nor there

There are places in this world that are neither here nor there, neither up nor down, neither real nor imaginary. These are the in-between places, difficult to find and even more challenging to sustain. Yet they are the most fruitful places of all. For in these liminal narrows a kind of life takes place that is out of the ordinary, creative, and once in a while genuinely magical. We tend to divide life between mind and matter and to assume that we must be in one or the other or both. But religion and folklore tell of another place that is often found by accident, where strange events take place, and where we learn things that can't be discovered in any other way.

-- Thomas Moore

Thursday, June 3


POET. I know what dreams are. What is poetry?

DAUGHTER. Not reality, but more than reality. Not dreams, but waking dreams.

POET. Yet the children of men believe that poets merely play-- invent and fabricate.

DAUGHTER. It is just as well, my friend, or else the world would be laid waste from lack of endeavour. All men would lie upon their backs, gazing at the heavens; no hand would be lifted to plough or spade, or plane or axe.

-- August Strindberg A Dream Play

Wednesday, June 2

the shape of a song

The other day I saw and heard a bird singing on the branch of a tree, and suddenly realized that the tree was the shape of a bird's song, they were one.

-- Cecil Collins The Vision of the Fool

Tuesday, June 1

Little Trip to Heaven

Little trip to heaven on the wings of your love
Banana moon is shining in the sky,
Feel like I'm in heaven when you're with me
Know that I'm in heaven when you smile,
Though we're stuck here on the ground, I got something that I've found
And it's you.

And I don't have to take no trip to outer space
All I have to do is look at your face,
And before I know it, I'm in orbit around you
Thanking my lucky stars that I've found you,
When I see your constellation, honey, you're my inspiration, and it's you.

And it's you, and it's you, and it's you, and it's you, and it's you
And it's you, and it's you, shoo-be-doo, ba-da-da.

-- Tom Waits